Mild hybrid and big screens for C 180 and C 200 which kick off the sedan’s range in Singapore, C 300e plug-in hybrid to follow shortly
SINGAPORE – Mercedes-Benz starts off the year with something very worth ‘C-ing’, with the debut of an all-new version of one its most enduringly popular models.
The all-new, fifth-generation (W206) C-Class sedan debuted yesterday at the Mercedes-Benz Centre on Alexandra Road with two models (C 180, C 200) and two trim variants (Avantgarde, AMG Line).
Confirmed pricing for two cars has been revealed:
Mercedes-Benz C 180 AMG Line: $255,888 with COE
Mercedes-Benz C 200 Avantgarde $279,888 with COE
The least expensive C-Class model, that is the C 180 Avantgarde, should be priced at S$247,888 with COE. We say ‘should’ because that, and the C 200 AMG Line, have yet to complete local homologation and official prices will only be released after that’s done.
The new C-Class looks to deliver exactly what an executive sedan needs in 2022, namely electrification, obvious digitalisation onboard, and cutting edge tech that’s also seen in its big brothers the S-Class and E-Class (both of which launched in Singapore last year).
For now, the range consists of the C 180 AMG Line and the C 200 Avantgarde models both of which have a 1.5-litre mild hybrid drivetrain, but a C 300e plug-in hybrid version is arriving in a month or so.
Mercedes says the new C-Class is the most electrified ever, and even the least expensive models show. Both launch cars pack the same 1.5-litre inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine (codename M254) and integrated starter/generator motor that allows for mild hybrid functionality.
This is a development from the previous W205 model – in that generation the C 180 was a regular ICE car, and the C 200 a mild hybrid. While the latter also had a 1.5-litre mild hybrid drivetrain, it had the older M264 engine and less electric boost – 14hp/160Nm compared to 20hp and 200Nm now.
While the new mild hybrid C 180 is less efficient than the previous model on paper (6.8L/100km vs 6.6L/100km) that could be due to efficiency testing changes, and we expect the opposite to be true in real life. Also, the C 200 model has 204hp and sprightlier performance than the C 180, while preserving the same fuel consumption.
The C 300e uses the same 1.5-litre as its brothers but with a more powerful electric motor and battery pack, the latter able to deliver 100km of electric range, claims Mercedes-Benz. Impressive if it’s true – that would make it one of the longest-ranging PHEVs here.
A fully-electric C-Class is on the horizon, but it won’t be called the EQC (there’s already one – it’s an electric GLC) and is due after 2022.
For lower spec versions of the previous C-Class (W204, W205) you could obviously tell you were in a not-so-costly Mercedes, but the W206 banishes those memories with aplomb: It looks just like an S-Class’ cabin, if you don’t notice the scale of it.
The dramatic sweep of the dashboard into the lower console area is meant to evoke an airplane’s wings, while the light-up aircon vents do the same with a jet engine’s nacelles.
Standard on all models is the new 11.9-inch vertically-oriented touchscreen, this one powered by the latest MBUX 2.0 infotainment system (as seen on the S-Class), with a 12.3-inch driver’s display. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity is also standard, and is capable of wireless operation for both phone types.
This is the largest ‘baby Benz’ there’s ever been, lining up at 4,751mm on the tape measure, it’s 65mm longer than before, and wider in all dimensions and interior space. There’s 25mm added to the wheelbase, now at 2,865mm, so it wrests the longest wheelbase prize back from the BMW 3 Series (2,851mm).
The C 180 already looks well-specced, with keyless entry/go, powered seats, ambient lighting, the 11.9-inch/12.3-inch display pairing, Artico leather, and more.
The C 200, in addition to the increased performance, adds on a 360-degree camera, ‘hard-disc navigation’ and MBUX AR navigation help that points out where to turn on the display screen – as seen on the S-Class too. C 180 drivers can add all this to their car for a S$9,100 premium.
But one eye-opening feature of the C 200 is the fact that it has rear-wheel steering – not something seen in executive sedans, and far more common in big sedans or luxury limos. The system deflects the rear wheels by up to 2.5-degrees for both better in-town and high-speed handling.
In Mercedes tradition, AMG Line delivers a sportier appearance through the AMG body-styling kit and side skirts, 18-inch AMG design wheels, though a new star-motif front grille is a nice addition, as are larger front brake discs. There’s also sport seats, a ‘sporty engine sound’, metal-weave trim on the centre dash, and an AMG-style flat-bottomed steering wheel. It has a new ‘two tiered’ steering wheel design that’s quite different from previous AMG Line models.
Avantgarde models receive 19-inch wheels, a snazzy black open-pore wood trim element with aluminum insets, a gloss back centre console, and a more conventional ‘non sport’ steering wheel.
As noted in our six-month review of sales (2021’s complete figures will be out next week) Mercedes-Benz looks like it’s in a strong position and could rise up the sales charts again. Like most brands it saw some delivery delays in 2021 due to the chip shortage, but these did not make a major impact on registrations.
Speaking at the launch of the C-Class, Mr Claudius Steinhoff President and chief executive officer of Daimler Southeast Asia/Mercedes-Benz Singapore, said, that occasionally customers had to wait a bit longer for their cars, but Mercedes was not held back by multi-month delivery delays that some brands have seen.
2022 is shaping up to be an electrifying year for Mercedes-Benz too – not just because it ended 2021 as part of major electric car event, EV Weekend – but because it will launch four EVs this year (the EQS, EQE, EQB, and electric V-Class). It will also breed less ‘shocking’ excitement with the new AMG SL coupe, and the relaunch of the Maybach brand with the Maybach S-Class limo and GLS SUV.